STYLE CRUSH: sienna miller




I don't know if this is a style crush or just all-out obsession, but I've pinned so many pictures of Sienna Miller to my private Pinterest board lately, I figured I should try and figure out what has me so googly-eyed over every picture of her! It's part of my job to know what celebrities are wearing and she's been doing the awards show rounds this year with some seriously killer style - her new choppy bob gives me hair envy every time I log into my computer and I'm taking notes to emulate her updated boho aesthetic.



Perfectly undone - whether she's on the red carpet or dressed down in a pair of jeans, she nails that pretty-'but not perfect'-look. Off-duty, she looks dishevelled, yet still cool, thanks to glossy hair and statement accessories. Yet in a red carpet gown, she keeps hair simple and make-up minimal to keep the overall feel relaxed and carefree. 


Cute crop - when I think of Sienna Miller I always picture long, messy locks or '60s-style bouffants from the Aflie era, but it turns out she's no stranger to the bob either. Her new style is sideswept and shorter and I wish I could pull it off, but I just don't have the cheek bones for it. I had a similar cut to the one on the left about 18 months go and my hair is finally back to mermaid lengths - I think I might try a glossy mid-length cut like the photo at the top of the post instead, though.




New boho - I'm pretty sure Sienna Miller kickstarted the boho trend when she was papped on the arm of Jude Law wearing peasant tops, denim cut-offs and cowboy boots back in the Noughties. I still love that relaxed vibe, with floppy brim hats and delicate gold jewellery. Her new look is more grown-up and fashion-forward, but pretty floral embroidery, textured fabric and that choppy 'do give her signature style a modern kick up the bum.

On my shopping list: shrunken denim biker jacket, little red handbag and a long, layered bob haircut.

CRANTOCK BEACH AT DUSK



Crantock Beach, where my parents have a flat, sits right on the Atlantic Ocean, nearly at the very end of the country. It's a breathtaking spot to take in the open ocean, and it's so windy that the weather can change in an instant. I took these photos with my DSLR when we went down the other weekend

The amazing thing about this beach is that the tides differ over an hour every day! I took these photos at roughly the same time on both days, around 6pm, and while on the first day we could make it down onto the sand, the sky was grey and there wasn't anything spectacular to see, though the glassy rock pools are captivating whatever the weather. On the second night, there was the most gorgeous peachy sunset, but the tide was in so high we would have had to walk round the long way to get down to the beach. Annoyingly, the first day had both soft pink skies and low tide at 6pm, but I forgot to take my camera!









FRUGAL RECIPES: pea and courgette frittata


Have you made a frittata before? Anything with eggs in it already has me on board, but frittatas are SO quick and easy and tasty hot or cold, so they're a staple in my weekly rotation.

Ingredients for 4
6 large eggs
Half a courgette
Handful of peas
A few sprigs of mint
Salt and pepper to taste


First, turn on the grill.

Crack the eggs into a jug or bowl and whisk with a fork until the whites and yolks have combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat up a non-stick saucepan with a tablespoon of olive oil (or other cooking fat) and pour in the eggs. Gently sprinkle the vegetables over the top and cook for a few minutes.

Pop under the grill for a further five minutes, or until the top starts to puff up, and then you're ready to serve. If you don't have a grill, you can continue to cook it on the hob with a cover on the pan, or alternatively put it in the oven.


I really like the combination of spring greens and the mint makes it really fresh. Other combinations I love are:
Asparagus, pea and mint
Tomato and basil
Ham and cheese (classic!)

I actually prefer the frittata cool - it's a really good make-ahead recipe for brunch, picnics or packed lunch, and it always looks pretty. Once cooled, you can store in a tupperware for a few days in the fridge.

Cost per portion: about 40p


A PILL UPDATE

Since my post about alternatives to the contraceptive pill was so popular, I thought I would write a quick follow-up to tell you about my experience since that post. If you don't want to read about lady problems, I'll be back with a new foodie post in a few days.


Lowdown - there was no reason for me to stop taking the pill (I'm not trying for a baby and my doctor said it was fine to continue for another few years), but I wanted to see how my body felt hormone-free and I thought it might help with stress and anxiety.

How - I stopped taking my pill when I got to the end of the pack in November. The instructions said that you can stop taking it whenever you want - which would be useful if you suddenly realised you had a health risk and you needed to stop straight away - but it seems logical for your mind and your body to stop at the end of the pack so that your body has its withdrawal bleed (fake period) and then you start the next month afresh.

Pros - I thought I would feel different not taking it, and that I would miss the routine of that early morning pill, but it was surprising to me that I didn't even notice not taking it. When I was 16 and first went on the pill, it was because I had a short cycle of 21 days and unbearably painful, heavy periods that went on for 10 days, meaning I'd often only just have two weeks before my period would start again! I started using the Clue period tracker (in the photo above) to see how my periods have changed and I'm really pleased that although my cycle is still short at around 24 days, my periods are virtually painless, light and only run for about four days, as they did while I was on the pill.

Cons - there haven't been any major cons, but I did have a few side effects the first week after I stopped. I was so tired and had terrible, all-day headaches, which I attributed to my body expecting to get a rush of hormones. After a week, though, I felt like my normal self. It does turn out, however, that my anxiety was nothing to do with the pill and I am, in fact, just stressed and anxious, so I can stop blaming the pill for that one! I have noticed that I'm also more prone to a few spots before my period, which I've never had a problem with. Lastly, I hate not knowing when my period is coming. When I was on the pill, it came like clockwork on Tuesday morning of my pill-free week, but I'm hoping that as I continue to use the period tracker, I'll be able to work out when it's due. Along with that, it's a pain that I can't choose to skip a period if I happen to be on holiday. There were a few summers and Christmases that were definitely spoiled by insane cramps and heavy bleeding before, but since my periods are much lighter and pain-free now, I don't think it will be such a big deal.

I hope you don't mind my sharing all this information, but I thought it might be useful for anyone thinking about stopping the pill. I'm happy now in the knowledge that all the hormones in my body are mine, and that, for now, everything seems to be working just fine.

INSTAGRAMS | a valentine-iversary in cornwall

My parents told us they were spending Valentine's weekend at our place in Cornwall and we tagged along (romantic, eh?) for a long weekend. Darren and I drove down at the crack of dawn on Friday, arriving in time for a pasty and a cup of tea before a long walk on the beach.


On Valentine's night, my parents went to the local restaurant while we stayed in and cooked the biggest steaks I've ever seen! We don't make a big song and dance about Valentine's Day - actually...I was furious that Darren forgot to get me a card, but he weaseled his way out of that one reminding me of the really sweet things he's done for me over the past few months while I've been a bit out of sorts (read: moany).

My parents left on Sunday afternoon and we had the place to ourselves for our anniversary on Monday - nine years together! I was shocked to google a few other things that are nine years old this year. We spent the morning at our favourite brunch spot, The Beach Hut on Watergate Bay, indulging in a massive fry up and pancakes and getting serious dog envy. We are seriously thinking about getting a puppy at the end of this year now! We drove along the coast a little, stopping at a couple of beaches, before heading home for a swim, Dominos and Broadchurch (talk about a cliffhanger!).


We drove back on Tuesday morning and a text from my colleague softened the blow - I won employee of the month this month and I have some other exciting works things in the pipeline too, so I'm feeling really proud of all the hard work I've put in this year.

I took some beautiful photos on the beach with my DSLR. I'm really not a natural shutterbug and I rarely take my big camera out, but I'm looking forward to sharing some pretty photos soon!

CHINESE NEW YEAR 2015


This Thursday is Chinese New Year and the start of the year of the Goat/Sheep (if you were born in 1979, 1991 or 2003, you're a Goat!) My mum is Chinese Malaysian so we always mark the occasion at home in London. I thought it might be fun to share a couple of the traditions we follow.

Reunion Dinner – this special dinner takes place on the eve of Chinese New Year (tonight!), with traditional dishes including dumplings for prosperity, whole fish to symbolise abundance and long noodles for a long life. We usually go out for lobster noodles at the New Mayflower in Chinatown, but this year we're celebrating at home.
Red Packets – you might have seen little rectangular red envelopes decorated with gold if you've ever been around Chinatown at this time of year. It's traditional to gift money to younger relatives in these envelopes. I did a little research and found out that it's lucky to give even amounts of money, but interestingly if you are giving money to a couple on their wedding day, it's favourable to give an odd number as it can't be easily divided, symbolising a strong union! To 'earn' our red packets, we brew and present tea to my mum and dad. You have to take the envelope with both hands and it's very rude to open it in front of the giver!
Spring Cleaning - my mum cleans the house from top to bottom, making sure to do all those annoying jobs that sometimes get overlooked. Apart from the fact it's common sense to start the new year with a fresh, clean house (something I never think to do on December 31st!), it also symbolises getting rid of any lingering bad luck from the previous year.

GIRLS' GIRL: styling the seasons


February is the month of love, after all, so I thought I'd join in with Apartment Apothecary's #stylingtheseasons challenge with a little post about girlfriends.

Are you a girls' girl? I kind of feel like if you're reading this blog (and most female lifestyle blogs) then you are probably the definition of a girls' girl. I try to keep the girly stuff to a minimum in our house - I do share it with a boy after all! - but it does still creep in via
my bookshelf...and our spare room is painted pink, so I suppose there's that.

I went to an all girls' boarding school (just one big sleepover, if you're wondering), so having lots of girlfriends has always been a big part of my life.

Here are a couple ways you can celebrate girl power this week:

Make a care package - snail mail is the best and I love sending little notes and trinkets just because. Scramble together a few bits and pieces - it shouldn't have to be expensive - and send them off in the post. Who knows, you might get one back! Here are some things I would include

Throw a brunch party - set up a breakfast burrito station or ask everyone to make/bring something to keep costs down.


Call someone and tell them you love them - sometimes something small reminds me that I have to call my mum and tell her I think she's the best, or send a whatsapp to my friend to say the daffodils they gave me are opening up. It's the little things that count and sharing special details of your life must be proven to strengthen friendships, even if you don't see each other that often.



Get strong together - I'm always motivated to workout with a friend so I meet my colleague every Sunday to get our butts kicked at Nike Training Club. It's something free to do together and definitely a bonding experience to be complaining about the fact we can't walk up the stairs at work the next day.

Take a class - learning something new together is a perfect way to spend time with friends new and old. You can establish common interests and get together to practice and give feedback.
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